Today in Entrepreneurial History: May 30

On this day in 1631, La Gazette, first French newspaper was published.

Before the advent of the printed Gazette, reports on current events usually circulated as hand-written papers La Gazette quickly became the center of France for the dissemination of news, and thus an excellent means for controlling the flow of information in a highly centralized state. Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII were frequent contributors.

La Gazette had for objective to inform its readers on events from the noble court and abroad. It was mostly focused on political and diplomatic affairs. In 1762, its name became Gazette de France, with the sub title Organe officiel du Government royal (Official organ of the royal Government). In 1787, Charles-Joseph Panckouke already proprietary of the Mercure de France and the Moniteur universel â€” that he had just founded â€” rented the magazine.

La Gazette remained silent about the birth of the revolution, and didn’t even mention the storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July in 1789, limiting itself to government acts. For the satisfaction of his customers, Charles-Joseph Panckouke published a supplement, Le Gazettin (little Gazette), that gave its readers summaries of debates at the National Constituent Assembly. In 1791, the ministry of foreign affairs, who owned La Gazette, took it back. Nicolas Fallet was named director and it became a tribune for the Girondists. He was succeeded by Sébastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort. La Gazette became a daily magazine in 1792, 1 May. Following the execution of Louis XVI in 1793, 21 January, it was renamed Gazette nationale de France (National Gazette of France) . The tone of its articles remained both very prudent and impartial.

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